ECHR: Polish popstar’s conviction for blasphemy breached the Convention

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Rabczewska v. Poland (application no. 8257/13) the European Court of Human Rights held, by six votes to one, that there had been a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned a pop singer in Poland known as Doda and comments she had made in an interview about the Bible which the courts decided were blasphemous. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: The expulsion of unlawfully resident Tajik nationals would not breach the Convention

The case of M.N. and Others v. Türkiye (application no. 40462/16) concerned the risk of the applicants being expelled from Türkiye to Tajikistan on the grounds that they did not have valid visas and would pose a threat to public safety owing to their participation in Koranic study classes that had not been registered with the Turkish authorities. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Complaint around social housing being reserved for Orthodox Jewish community in Hackney rejected

In its decision in the case of L.F. v. the United Kingdom (application no. 19839/21) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final. L.F. is a single mother with four children, two of whom have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The case concerned her attempt to access suitable social housing from the Agudas Israel Housing Association – an Orthodox Jewish housing charity who, in line with an agreement, made some of its stock available for individuals seeking housing in the London Borough of Hackney. The Court held that the arrangement between Hackney Borough and Agudas Israel was objectively and reasonably justified given in particular the difficulties that the Orthodox Jewish community had in accessing accommodation, and concluded that the application was manifestly ill-founded. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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ECHR: Prisoner’s right to congregational Friday prayers was breached in Diyarbakır prison

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Abdullah Yalçın (No.2) v. Türkiye (application no. 34417/10) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 9 (freedom of religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the Diyarbakır high-security prison’s refusal to allow the applicant’s request for congregational Friday prayers (jumuah) to be held and for him to take part. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Multiple violations in case brought by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia

The case Taganrog LRO and Others v. Russia (application nos. 32401/10 and 19 others) concerned various actions taken by the State against Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organisations in Russia over a ten-year span, including a requirement to re-register, amendments to anti-extremist legislation leading to the banning of their religious literature and international website and the revocation of their permit to distribute religious magazines, and eventually to a nation-wide ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organisations in Russia, the criminal prosecution of hundreds of individual Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the confiscation of their property. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Jehovah’s Witness should have had a clear alternative to military service in Lithuania

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Teliatnikov v. Lithuania (application no. 51914/19) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned Mr Teliatnikov’s request for an exemption from military service and application for civilian service owing to his religious beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness minister. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Court rejects case on compulsory health insurance

In its decision in the case of De Kok v. the Netherlands (application no. 1443/19) the European Court of Human Rights has, unanimously, declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final. The applicant complained about the obligation to buy basic health insurance in the Netherlands and the consequences of his not having done so. The Court did not express itself on the applicability of Article 8. Assuming that there had been an interference under that Article, it found, in particular, that in order to ensure affordable healthcare by means of collective solidarity the State had legitimate reasons for obliging citizens to take out health insurance under Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the European Convention. It also rejected complaints under Articles 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and 6 (right to a fair trial). Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: No breach of Jehovah’s Witness’ rights in case concerning dispute over his daughter’s religious upbringing

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of T.C. v. Italy (application no. 54032/18) the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been no violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights in conjunction with Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention, read in the light of Article 9 (freedom of religion). The case concerned a dispute between the applicant and the mother of his daughter from a previous relationship over their child’s religious upbringing. The applicant had become a Jehovah’s Witness after the split in the relationship. Following proceedings brought by the mother in the courts, the applicant was ordered to refrain from actively involving his daughter in his religion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Pollution from Vladivostok cemetery breached property owner’s rights

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Solyanik v. Russia (application no. 47987/15) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for home, private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the applicant’s complaint about pollution from a cemetery located very close to his house and adjacent plot of land. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Expelling to Pakistan a national of that country who had converted to Christianity in Switzerland was liable to infringe his Convention rights

The case of M.A.M. v. Switzerland (application no. 29836/20) concerned the applicant’s possible expulsion to Pakistan. M.A.M. is a Pakistani national who had converted from Islam to Christianity while in Switzerland, where he had arrived in 2015 and where his asylum request had been rejected. In today’s Chamberjudgment the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that if the decision to expel the applicant to Pakistan were to be executed there would be a violation of Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, in the absence of an assessment of the risk to which the applicant was exposed on account of the overall situation of Christian converts in Pakistan and of his own personal situation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Failure to grant congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses exemption from property tax in the Brussels-Capital Region since 2018 was discriminatory

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Assemblée Chrétienne Des Témoins de Jéhovah d’Anderlecht and Others v. Belgium (application no. 20165/20) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) read in conjunction with Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights and with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the Convention. The case concerned congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses which complained of being denied exemption from payment of a property tax (précompte immobilier) in respect of properties in the Brussels-Capital Region used by them for religious worship. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Court rejects case concerning man stripped of Danish nationality for joining the “Islamic State”

In its decision in the case of Johansen v. Denmark (application no. 27801/19) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final. The case concerned the stripping of the applicant’s Danish nationality following his conviction in 2017 for terrorism offences, in particular for having gone to Syria to join the “Islamic State”. The authorities also ordered his deportation from Denmark with a permanent ban on his return. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Gay-marriage-cake case declared inadmissible – “Christian business”

In its decision in the case of Lee v. the United Kingdom (application no. 18860/19) the European Court of Human Rights has, by a majority, declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final. The case concerned the refusal by a Christian-run bakery to make a cake with the words “Support Gay Marriage” and the QueerSpace logo on it which the applicant had ordered and the proceedings that had followed. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Child adoption without taking account of the mother’s wishes breached her human rights

In today’s Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Abdi Ibrahim v. Norway (application no. 15379/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the decision by the Norwegian authorities to allow the adoption of a child by a foster family against his mother’s wishes. The mother, a Somali national who had moved to Norway, did not ask for her son’s return as he had spent a long time with his foster parents, but wished for him to maintain his cultural and religious roots. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Centre of Societies for Krishna Consciousness in Russia and Frolov v. Russia (no. 37477/11)

The applicants are the Centre of Societies for Krishna Consciousness, a religious organisation under Russian law based in Moscow, and a Russian national Mikhail Aleksandrovich Frolov. The case concerns the applicants’ attempts to challenge hostile descriptions of the Krishna movement and the refusal of permission to hold public religious events promoting the teachings of Vaishnavism. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Multiple violations in enforced expulsions from Russia of two foreign missionaries

The case concerned the sudden and enforced expulsion from Russia of two missionaries of the Unification Church, ostensibly for violating residence regulations. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Religious wording of oath of office of the President of Ireland

In its decision in the case of Shortall and Others v. Ireland (application no. 50272/18) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final. The case concerned the religious language contained in the declarations required under the Irish Constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) for the office of President of Ireland (Uachtarán na hÉireann) and for members of the Council of State. The applicants complained under Article 9 that the requirement for a religious declaration breached their freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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ECHR: Mikeladze and Others v. Georgia (no. 54217/16)

The applicants, Teimuraz Mikeladze, Otar Mikeladze, Malkhaz Beridze and Gocha Beridze are Georgian nationals who belong to the Muslim minority in Georgia. The case concerns the police’s alleged excessive use of force and discriminatory language during the applicants’ arrest and detention. They were arrested on 22 October 2014 at a gathering by the local Muslim community against the conversion of an ancient mosque into a library. They were released the next day. The police alleged that the applicants had resisted their lawful orders, and denied making any derogatory comments, while the applicants brought complaints of ill-treatment against the police officers. The investigation into the applicants’ allegations has not yet produced any conclusive findings. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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ECHR: Tabloid articles about Slovak woman’s deceased son violated her rights

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of M.L. v. Slovakia (application no. 34159/17) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned three 2006 newspaper articles about the applicant’s son – a former parish priest – after his passing, and the ensuing court proceedings. The articles had combined certain elements from the criminal case files of the applicant’s son’s convictions with frivolous and unverified statements, in particular around the man’s death and alleged confessions. The Court found in particular that a criminal conviction did not deprive a convicted person of his or her right to be forgotten, and the applicant’s son could not be deprived of the protections of Article 8. The articles in question had been sensationalist and had not made a contribution to the debate around sexual abuse by Catholic clergymen. The domestic courts overall had failed to adequately balance the freedom of expression of the newspapers with the applicant’s right to privacy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Dismissal of civil action on grounds of Holy See’s jurisdictional immunity did not violate Convention

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of J.C. and Others v. Belgium (application no. 11625/17) the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority (six votes to one), that there had been no violation of Article 6 § 1 (right of access to a court) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case raised the question of the immunity of the Holy See from the jurisdiction of domestic courts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Conviction of an imam on the grounds of his Facebook posts was in breach of the Convention

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Üçdağ v. Turkey (application no. 23314/19) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right of access to a tribunal) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned Mr Üçdağ’s criminal conviction for disseminating propaganda in favour of a terrorist organisation on account of two posts published on his Facebook account, as well as the rejection of his individual application to the Constitutional Court as being out of time. At the relevant time, Mr Üçdağ was a public official working as an imam at a local mosque. The impugned posts had included two photographs (of individuals in uniform similar to that of PKK members and of a crowd demonstrating in a public street in front of a fire), originally shared by two other Facebook users. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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ECHR: A.O. Falun Dafa and Others v. the Republic of Moldova (no. 29458/15)

The applicants are A.O. Falun Dafa, A.O. Qigong Falun Gong Moldova, Tatiana Chiriac and Dumitru Roman. The first two are organisations registered in the Republic of Moldova. The last two are Moldovan and Romanian nationals who were born in 1970 and 1965 respectively and live in Chișinău. They are the presidents and founders of the first two applicant organisations. The case concerns the banning of the applicant organisations’ symbols, which resemble a swastika, followed by their dissolution. The applicants rely on Articles 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and 11 (freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Refusal to grant State recognition not a neutral and impartial decision, no effective remedy for Ancient Baltic religious association

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Ancient Baltic religious association “Romuva” v. Lithuania (application no. 48329/19) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy). The case concerned the refusal by the Seimas (the Lithuanian Parliament) to grant to the applicant association the status of a State-recognised religious association. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

ECHR: Violation of the right to freedom of religion of a prisoner who did not receive meals compatible with the precepts of Islam in Iaşi Prison

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Saran v. Romania (application no. 65993/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 9 (right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the provision to a prisoner of meals compatible with the precepts of Islam. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

EGMR: Requiring a prisoner to prove a change of religion in order to be allowed to practise that religion in prison breached the Convention

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Neagu v. Romania (application no. 21969/15) the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been a violation of Article 9 (right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned a prisoner who had converted to Islam while in detention. He complained of the refusal of the Romanian authorities to provide him with pork-free meals, in accordance with the precepts of his religion, unless he furnished proof that he was an adherent of that religion. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »